Unique Miniature Bible

The National Library of Scotland recently acquired a unique miniature Bible to add to our collection of volumes published by David Bryce & Son of Glasgow. David Bryce (1845-1923) was one of the world’s most prolific and successful makers of miniature books.

It is a 1912 unrecorded variant of Bryce’s second edition of the Bible which features a copy of “Ulster’s Solemn League and Covenant” on the preliminary leaves. 

The first signatory of the Covenant was Sir Edward Carson (1854-1935) whose facsimile signature appears on the document. Carson was the leader of the Irish Unionist Alliance. It was signed by more than half a million other Protestants, in protest against the Third Home Rule Bill introduced by Lord Asquith’s government. The Bill was Westminster’s response to sort out the long running “Irish Question” by giving Ireland a measure of local autonomy.

The Bible measures only 43mm in height and is bound in dark blue embossed calf. It is accompanied by the original fragile paper wrapper. A pocket in the back board contains a tiny magnifying glass to facilitate reading.

The Holy Bible containing Old and New Testaments … Appointed to be read in churches. Memento of Ulster Day 28 September 1912. (Glasgow : David Bryce & Son, [1912]) shelfmark: FB.s.1212

Bryce Bibles: https://www.nls.uk/exhibitions/miniature-books/tiny-bibles/

Miniature Books in General: https://www.nls.uk/collections/rare-books/collections/miniature-books

Bondy, Louis W. Miniature books : their history from the beginnings to the present day. (1994) shelfmark: H2.95.340

Bromer, Anne. Miniature books : 4,000 years of tiny treasures (2007) shelfmark: SU.37 (5.3.1 Bromer) Edison.

An illustrated bibliography of miniature books published by David Bryce and Son. Compiled by Michael Garbett. (2011) shelfmark: SU.37 (5.3 Garbett)